Bengaluru FC reign continues

Bengaluru FC reign continues

Bengaluru FC players celebrate their second straight BDFA Super Division League triumph by lifting coach Naushad Moosa in the air on Saturday. DH PHOTO/ SK Dinesh

Bengaluru FC ‘B’ clinched their second BDFA Super Division league crown in a row with a dominant 3-0 win over Ozone FC Bengaluru at the Bangalore Football Stadium here on Saturday.

With the title race being decided on the final day of the league, BFC needed a win to hold off a spirited challenge from Kickstart FC Karnataka who defeated MEG & Centre FC 4-0 in a dead rubber later in the day, thanks to two goals from M Nikhil Raj and Sudheer Kotikal.

With the win, BFC finished with 34 points from 13 games, a point ahead of Kickstart, to win the George Hoover Trophy. After a loss in the opening game, they dropped points just once while winning the other 11. Edmund Lalrindika, Naorem Roshan Singh, Biswa Darjee and Ajay Chhetri were some of the standout performers.

On Saturday, BFC threatened right of the bat with Advait Shinde smashing his effort onto the bar and Amay Morajkar and Suresh Singh Wangjam having their shots saved early on.

However, the goal duly came just after the half-hour mark with Suresh leading a counter-attack and finishing with aplomb. Lalrindika then made it 2-0 after playing a one-two with Shinde. After the break, BFC had a plethora of chances which were not converted but they increased the lead nonetheless through a penalty when Suresh was brought down in the box.

Ajay Chhetri stepped up to convert the penalty and put the exclamation mark on the result.

“It was very tense, just a point difference and we had to wait till the last match. That really made them realise how important it is not to relax,” said coach Moosa.

The lack of local talent has been a black spot in the success, considering it’s the local league. While Moosa admitted to the same, the former Pune FC academy coach said that there were few who could break into his side and that the club is working to address the issue.

“That’s the biggest complaint (we’ve had),” he said. “I’ve been watching all the games here and the players we are looking for at BFC, I’m not seeing that level. I’ve found one or two. The basics are very poor.

“We’ve started U-13 (age group) in Bellary and we had this tournament from which we scouted a lot of players. Out of them, 5-6 will move to U-13 team, they are now in the U-11. Discipline, we’re looking for that because you know in Bengaluru, the lifestyle...” he trailed off.

“We do feel bad about not having local talent but give us five years,” he said, optimistic about the players making the grade from the youth levels.

Results: BFC B: 3 (Suresh Singh 31st, Edmund Lalrindika 39th, Ajay Chhetri 76th) bt Ozone FC Bengaluru: 0; Kickstart FC Karnataka: 4 (M Nikhil Raj 30th, 77th, Sudheer Kotikal 39th, 45th) bt MEG & Centre FC: 0.

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